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High cholesterol in China a rising problem

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More than 155 million adults in China have increased total cholesterol levels and another 117 million have bad cholesterol, U.S. researchers report.

Researchers at Tulane University found one in three Chinese adults ages 35 to 74 has high cholesterol and another one in four suffers from excessive bad cholesterol levels, with many unaware they have a problem and require treatment.

Traditionally, heart disease has not been a major cause of death in China, said Jiang He, an epidemiologist. However, deaths from heart disease have been rapidly increasing in recent years, and we believe that can be attributed in part to large numbers of people with untreated high cholesterol.

Jiang warned that if China does not start addressing the problem more seriously, heart disease will only become more of a social burden.

The rise in cholesterol levels may be due to economic growth and the accompanied diet and lifestyle changes, Jiang said, because regions with the fastest economic growth had a greater prevalence of high cholesterol.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International

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